Growth is one of the greatest goals in each person’s life. Physical growth is not necessarily our choice, but educational growth and change in perspective are taught from teachers, world issues, and through personal experience. A common phrase heard by many is “you’ve changed,” and unfortunately it is usually in a negative connotation. While some might take this poorly, the best response you can give that person is a big ole' screamin’ “Thank you.”
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With change comes experience, and with experience usually comes lessons learned. This is definitely something I have learned in my most recent years. Some of our biggest struggles in life result in learning experiences that shape us into the men and women we are today. We have to go through heartbreaks to know what type of person we will eventually want to spend the rest of our lives with. We have to experience broken friendships to learn that trust is a very dangerous luxury that many people take for granted. We will take classes that will help us decide what career we want to pursue the rest of our lives. Every choice made makes you, you.
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At eighteen years old, we are young “almost” adults who just graduated high school and have no idea what we are doing with our lives. That first step onto a college campus is the first step to the rest of our lives. When I first began college, I was a commuter at a small school 45 minutes away. It was not until my senior year of college that I decided to move onto campus and get the full college experience.
Unfortunately, the beginning of the semester was a rough one because I lost everyone I was friends with for nearly a decade because they did not agree with the choices I made, which honestly were not even bad choices. I “changed” (and I guess was only worth one text message to inform me that they did not feel comfortable talking to me ever again, talk about a slap in the face).
College is a place where people learn who they are. We learn that people will leave you because they do not agree with your actions, you might stop talking to your high school friends because you are not the person you were as a young teenager, but most of all, you will be forced to make many life changing decisions.
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This world is full of beautiful moments and horrible tragedy. We have changed because we can no longer trust. We have changed because we have been hurt. We have changed because of experience. Ending friendships, an abusive relationship, failing a class you need to graduate, a loved one passes away tragically-- all of these are life-changing moments. Making new friends, watching videos of dogs being rescued, doing volunteer work, getting ice cream when it is hot, laying in bed after a long day, graduating college, starting a dream job—all of these remind us that there is still good in this world and to not lose sight of what is important in life.
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So when someone tells you that you have changed, that means you have lived. You have survived through the most difficult of times, pushed through challenges, and experienced life. As Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” Yes, you have indeed changed and you will continue to change as life goes on.
Never let someone lead you to believe that change is negative. Change is mature and unavoidable. You learn from everything you have experienced in life. Thank you, ex best friend, thank you, ex boyfriend/girlfriend, thank you everyone who made me the person I am today. Without you, I would not have learned that you were not supposed to be part of my life and I thank you again for being just another learning experience.